Dementia link to brain gene probed

image
Print Friendly

A gene with links to late-onset dementia is also suspected of boosting people’s brains in their youth, according to a study.

People who inherit one copy of the gene variant, known as APOE e4, have up to four times the normal risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in later life.

Neuroscientists tested the cognitive skills of those with the gene variant, which is found in around a quarter of the population, against those without it.

They also looked at the brain structure and brain activities of both groups during the tasks.

The study, led by the University of Sussex, found that young people with the same variant performed better in attention tests, including episodic memory of words and spotting number sequences.

Experts suggested that while the e4 variant might help boost the brain in early life, it could also increase the possibility of “burnout” in old age.

Lead researcher Professor Jennifer Rusted said: “Earlier studies suggested that those with the e4 variant outperform those without it in tasks such as memory, speed of processing, mental arithmetic and verbal fluency. But it is also well-established that this gene is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.

“The suggestion is that while this confers cognitive advantages in early life, leading to higher achievement, it may also increase susceptibility to memory failure as we enter old age.

“Our study is the first to show that subtle differences in the structure and activation of the brain during cognitive tasks in APOE e4 carriers are linked to their cognitive performance. It is possible that the brain over-activations that we see in youth have negative effects over the longer term and contribute to a kind of ‘burnout’ in older adulthood.”

The study – APOE e4 polymorphism in young adults is associated with improved attention and indexed by distinct neural signatures – was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and is published in NeuroImage.

The following two tabs change content below.
Hello ... I am the Creative Director and Website Editor for Silversurfers and manage all the social media too. I hope you find the features and articles we have shared with you of interest and relevance. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us ... I hope you enjoy Silversurfers and all that we offer ...

Latest posts by Silversurfers Editor (see all)

Not a member?

Join the silversurfers community today! It's free, easy to do, and is packed full of features and amazing offers!

Join the community!
Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!

More Dementia

4 Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of Dementia Memory loss and brain aging due to dementia and alzheimer's disease as a medical icon of a group of color changing autumn fall trees shaped as a human head losing leaves as intelligence function on a white background.
Certain lifestyle choices can reduce your chance of developing dementia. There are...
Dementia Awareness Week Someone is erasing a drawing of the human brain. Conceptual imag
From 18 – 23 May we’re celebrating Dementia Awareness Week to help spread the word that life...
Musical Therapy and All That Jazz and all that jazz
Music: More Than Just Easy Listening? Music is a language that everyone speaks and...
Living with Dementia Someone is erasing a drawing of the human brain. Conceptual imag
Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) that is associated with an ongoing decline of...
Find lifts Parkinson's therapy hope Generic health pix - tablets
Cholesterol-lowering drugs taken by millions of people could form the basis of new treatments for...
Op jab 'may raise dementia risk' PA-4320778
Older people who undergo general anaesthesia during surgery have an increased risk of developing...
Concern over dementia waiting times PA-16579457
There are "huge disparities" in the care people with dementia receive depending on where they...
Dog gives dementia couple life back Dog
A couple dealing with dementia say they have been given their lives back thanks to their pet dog...
Dementia patient checks 'missed' Health Assessments
Many dementia patients are not receiving "key" health assessments when they are in hospital, a...
Alzheimers and cancer link studied Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's disease and cancer may be mutually protective, new research has suggested...
Fresh hope for Alzheimer's patients 153067463
An experimental drug has been shown to halt memory loss in mice with a rodent version of...
Heart hope with Alzheimer's drugs Flu stock
Some Alzheimer's drugs could reduce the risk of heart attacks and death, according to research...